An overview of the week in deals in the Irish and global technology sector.
Facebook teams up with security firms to fight malicious links
Facebook has joined forces with security firms Microsoft, McAfee, Trend Micro, Sophos, and Symantec to help protect members of the social network from links that lead to malware or malicious websites.
Facebook’s URL blacklist system, which the company says scans trillions of clicks per day, will incorporate the security companies’ malicious URL databases to enhance its level of protection.
Facebook has also announced its new AV Marketplace for all Facebook users, which is accessible from the Facebook Security Page. From here, users will be able to select a free download from one of Facebook’s anti-virus partners.
Facebook and Microsoft strike US$550m patent deal
Social networking behemoth Facebook is acquiring for US$550m in cash a portion of the patent portfolio software giant Microsoft recently agreed to acquire from AOL Inc.
In the initial AOL auction, Microsoft secured the ability to own or assign about 925 US patents and patent applications, plus a licence to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio, which contains about 300 additional patents that were not for sale.
Under Microsoft’s deal with Facebook, Facebook will own about 650 AOL patents and patent applications, plus a licence to the AOL patents and applications that Microsoft will purchase and own.
Microsoft will retain ownership of about 275 AOL patents and applications; a licence to the about 650 AOL patents and applications that will now be owned by Facebook; and a licence to about 300 patents that AOL did not sell in its auction.
Energia in €32m electricity contract with local authorities and State bodies
Fifty-two Irish local authorities have moved to Energia, with the energy provider expecting to supply more than 180 gigawatt hours of electricity to power the local authorities’ public lighting systems in the coming year, in a contract that’s estimated to be valued in region of €32m.
As well as supplying electricity to all of the county councils, Energia said the supply deal would also cover sector bodies, including Dublin Airport Authority, An Garda Siochana, RTÉ and Waterways Ireland.
Energia said it had won a number of tenders this year and is continuing to win public tenders to supply unmetered electricity to the local authorities.
The company said that via the tenders it would now supply all the county councils and many local authorities in Ireland, including Cork City Council, Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Galway County Council, Limerick City Council and Waterford City Council.
Vodafone to acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide for stg£1.04bn
Vodafone Group will acquire Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW), which owns the UK’s largest fibre network, for stg£1.04bn in order to strengthen its enterprise business and for cost-saving opportunities.
The deal comes after Tata Communications withdrew its interest in acquiring CWW last week.
Vodafone’s offer is worth 38p per share in cash. It reportedly wants to break up CWW and sell its undersea cables operations. It will also help Vodafone improve its network quality.
IBM to acquire Vivisimo
Technology giant IBM has struck a deal to acquire information optimisation solutions provider Vivisimo for an undisclosed sum.
More specifically, US-based Vivisimo provides federated discovery and navigation software that helps organisations access and analyse big data across the enterprise.
The acquisition will boost IBM’s big data analytics initiatives with advanced federated capabilities allowing organisations to access, navigate, and analyse the variety, velocity and volume of structured and unstructured data without having to move it, IBM said.
The combination of IBM’s big data analytics capabilities with Vivisimo software will also help IBM automate the flow of data into business analytics applications, helping clients better understand consumer behaviour, manage customer churn and network performance, detect fraud in real time, and perform data-intensive marketing campaigns.
Intel to acquire assets of supercomputing firm Cray
Semiconductor chip maker Intel has struck an agreement with supercomputer company Cray Inc to acquire assets related to its high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect programme for an undisclosed sum.
Under the agreement, Intel will access Cray’s interconnect personnel and intellectual property.
Cray’s interconnect team is responsible for the Gemini interconnect, as well as the upcoming Aries interconnect, designed to work in Cray’s next-generation supercomputer, codenamed ‘Cascade’, which will integrate Intel Xeon processors, Intel said.
“The acquisition of Cray’s industry-leading interconnect technology and expertise provides exceptional strategic assets that further enhance Intel’s HPC portfolio. We’re excited about the value this will allow us to bring to our customers,” said Diane Bryant, vice-president and general manager of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected System Group.
The deal is expected to close before the end of the current quarter, subject to customary closing conditions being met.